Lucky 13: Colorado latest state to approve Penn National-Pinnacle merger Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · September 20, 2018 at 5:13 pm The Colorado Division of Gaming signed off on Penn National Gaming’s $2.8 billion buyout of Pinnacle Entertainment Thursday, leaving the company with “a few requisite” approvals before finalizing the deal. Colorado is the 13th state regulatory body to approve the transaction. The Penn-Pinnacle merger is expected to be completed by the end of the year. After adding Pinnacle’s 12 casinos, Penn National will become the largest U.S. regional gaming operator with 41 properties in 20 jurisdictions. “With just a few requisite regulatory hearings remaining, we remain on schedule to complete the transaction early in the fourth quarter,” Penn National CEO Tim Willmott said in a statement. Shareholders of Penn and Pinnacle approved the deal in March. There has been still no resolution to the Federal Trade Commission’s a second request for “additional information and documentary material” regarding Penn’s acquisition of Pinnacle. The companies did not disclose what aspect of the deal drew the second request, which was made in March. To alleviate anti-trust issues initially, Pinnacle agreed to sell four of its 16 properties – two Ameristar casinos in Missouri and the Belterra gaming brands in Indiana and Ohio – to Boyd Gaming Corp. for $575 million. Boyd will sign a lease agreement with real estate investment trust Gaming and Leisure Properties, which is the landlord for the Pinnacle-owned resorts. Since the deal was first announced, Penn National hasn’t stopped seeking expansion opportunities. The company is acquiring Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, La., for $376 million in a joint agreement with real estate investment trust VICI Properties. Penn National has also won the rights to build two “satellite casinos” in Pennsylvania that will have 750 slot machines and 30 table games. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.